(705) 722-0008 info@rentmec.com

To put things simply, renting a motorhome can be intimidating. There are many things for customers to consider before making a selection for their vacation. If you are reading this article you are taking a great first step to renting your first motorhome in Ontario!

There are a few key things to understand when making a decision to rent a motorhome in Ontario. Who you are renting from, what you are renting, where you are traveling, what is included in your rental, what rules must I follow while renting and how do I know this is right for me?

Below we will outline some of the most important things we have learned from our time in the rental industry.

Tip 1: Know Who You Are Renting From

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Knowing the owner of the motorhome is perhaps the most important part of your decision to rent an RV. There are a few details you should look for regarding who you rent a motorhome from in Ontario.

Is it a private owner or a professional renter? Both of these options you can provide a wonderful trip. The important thing is to do your research on whoever you are considering. A great first step is to read their reviews. Our general rule of thumb with reviews is not to look at the best or worst, it is to look for patterns. One bad review does not make a pattern just as one great review does not make perfection. A consistently happy or frustrated customer base is the best indication of what to expect.

With certain renters, typically private ones, it can be hard to come by reviews. If the company is brand new perhaps this is not a concern, if the company is older than a few years, expect at least a handful of reviews. Looking at reviews is an easy first step since they should be available on their web site or at least the rental companies google page.

After checking out reviews you should take time to learn if it is a private renter or professional renter. A private motorhome renter is generally described as a private citizen renting their own motorhome out for extra income to offset their purchase costs. A professional organization will have multiple RV’s or motorhomes on their fleet. Professionals will either own all the units, rent out for other owners or a mixture of both, from one central rental location. Each option offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Private motorhome rentals offer the widest variety of RV’s since you have the option to rent from anyone willing to offer their own motorhome for rent. This means you can rent small, large, new, old and a wide variety of floor plans. Of course with this variety comes the risk of the RV not being what you expected upon arrival. Photos may be out dated, selective or not exist all together.

You must also remember, if you are renting someone’s personal motorhome, it is also their own travel plan as well. With a private rental you run the risk of the owner backing out at the last moment to use the RV themselves or perhaps someone willing to pay more. Unfortunately that owner does not stand to lose the same as a professional renter for operating this way.

The most commonly cited benefit of private rentals is price. This comes from a few factors. Older motorhomes are often priced lower. Someone who owns a motorhome and rents privately may not take time to inspect, clean and prep their RV to the same standards as a professional renter. When renting is a hobby, you cannot expect the profession level of care that a motorhome rental company provides.

It is easy to think that these points are to deter you from renting privately however we only wish to educate you how to make the best choice for your vacation. Many people each year have a great experience with private rentals however each year, here at Motorhome Escapes we receive about 5-10 calls about rentals falling through and needing to rent last minute from us. Unfortunately we are sometimes already booked up.

. Many people each year have a great experience with private rentals however each year, here at Motorhome Escapes we receive about 5-10 calls about rentals falling through and needing to rent last minute from us. Unfortunately last minute motorhome rentals are difficult for us to accommodate, especially during high season.

When considering a professional renter there are important things to consider as well. It is important to ask the right questions regarding what is included in the rental rates and the quote you receive. The first question to ask is, “what is included in the daily rate?” It is common for some mileage to be included in the daily rate, free on-site parking and some other items.

With Motorhome Escapes, your full insurance coverage is also standard in your daily rate. It is our opinion that insurance should be simple and surprise free. No extra insurance cost are available here but it is important to ask if there are addition insurance costs that may be proposed at pick up or implemented later on without being explicitly explained before booking or pick up.

You may also wish to ask about inspection processes and how the company handles issues on the road. Motorhomes are a large rolling home, which means little things can come up on your trip. You may simply forget how something operates. Having access to assistance can be very helpful. A professional renter will always have office hours which they can be reached. Many will offer addition 24 hours roadside assistance or a means of reaching them outside of office hours as well. Be sure to ask about how they help customers on the road.

Lastly, we believe it is very important that a rental company be willing to personally show you the motorhomes they offer. Do not hesitate to drop in and ask to see what you will be renting. Keep in mind that if their units are on rent, this request may not be possible. One advantage of our rental location being in a motorhome dealership is that we may be able to show you something similar, even if our units are on the road.

Now you know some of the important factors involved with knowing who you are renting from. Next we will discuss the important things to understand about the Motorhome or RV you are renting. 

Tip 2: Decide What Motorhome to Rent

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Now that you have learned to identify one or more rental companies that you trust and are comfortable with renting from; the next important decision to make is what you will be renting. We strongly believe every customer has a perfect unit and every unit has a perfect customer. The first question to finding the right fit is simple, towable or motorized? In regards to renting, if you do not have a vehicle to tow a trailer, motorized is the way to go. Otherwise you will need to know how you wish to travel. 

Renting a towable unit offers you to have your own vehicle to detach and drive around when you get where you are going. Trailers do not have odometers either, thus mileage is not a separate charge. That being said, in personal experience, trailers are trickier to drive. Generally they are also not equipped with an onboard generator, limiting some aspects of how your trip works, especially if you plan to run your A/C, microwave, televisions or other appliances without plugging in at a campground. 

By renting a motorhome you do not need to put the strain on a personal vehicle by towing a trailer. Reduced ware on your vehicle means that is put onto the motorhome thus mileage is charged; typically some mileage is included with your rental. With some motorhomes there is an on board generator allowing for use of appliances wherever you travel, regardless of access to plugging the motorhome into power. Be sure to ask if a generator is available. While our entire fleet has generators, not everyone does. With a motorhome you have freedom to sit in the front seatbelts or in those in the rear of the motorhome. These belts are typically in a couch or dinette, allowing you to sit comfortably, play cards, chat with other travelers or even watch TV. Your travel becomes a part of your vacation in a motorhome! 

Once you have decided between towing or motorized you can dial in what fits your needs. Here are a few key factors to pick the right unit:

1. How many people are you traveling with?
It is law to have a seat belt for each guest while traveling. You will also want to know how many beds you will require for you and your travellers.

2. How much space do you want? 
Just because you are traveling with two guests, does not mean you have to rent the smallest unit. Each renter has their own comfort level with space. Explore all of your available sizing options and pick what is most comfortable for you in living space and for driving.

3. What size can you have?
This may seem similar to #2, however it is important to know if anywhere you are traveling has a size limit. Be sure to ask campgrounds if they have a limit on size. If you plan to take it home to load and unload, ensure your driveway is big enough as well.

4. Additional Custom Options.
You can of course get further details regarding the motorhome or RV you select however these will be more personal to you. Things like TV’s, awnings and other options will be dependent on you and the trip you envision. This is why we strongly suggest making a visit and seeing the options in person.

You can of course get further details regarding the motorhome or RV you select however these will be more personal to you. Things like TV’s, awnings and other options will be dependent on you and the trip you envision. This is why we strongly suggest making a visit and seeing the options in person.

Tip 3: Know What is Included in Your Rental

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Knowing what you should expect from your rental is the next big thing to understand. You have picked who you like, the rental motorhome and now you want to book. Once you agree to a contract you want to know exactly what you have agreed to. Some key points to question and investigate are:

  • Daily rate
  • Insurance
  • Mileage
  • Preparation & Cleaning Fees
  • Cancellation Policy

The daily rate is perhaps the most varying number you will receive from rental companies. Meaning, every company includes different things in their daily rate. This means is it important not to simply compare daily rates when searching for a rental.

Some common things that may or may not be part of the daily rate include (but are not limited to), cleaning and preparation fees, insurance costs, mileage, comfort items and so on. The reason you want to understand what is included in the daily rate is that you do not want an unpleasant surprise when you pick up your rental motorhome. It is best to be confident in the price you are paying before you show up for your trip. Here at Motorhome Escapes we strive to be as transparent as possible with what we offer in our daily rate. Specifically we include all insurance rates, standard equipment set (as listed on our web site) and 100 kilometers a day to start your trip off.

Insurance is handled very different between rental companies. As mentioned, we include our insurance and do not offer different payments for reduced deductibles or other fancy options that can be confusing. You must first know exactly what your security deposit is and if certain security deposits incur an extra cost. Some companies will offer a reduced security deposit for an additional cost. Importantly, the original security deposit can be as high as $7,500 in some cases to encourage you to purchase this extra coverage. Be sure to ask what level your initial estimate includes so when you compare companies you are comparing quotes that are as similar as possible.

In addition, to ensure insurance offerings are clear, be sure to know what you have purchased in regards to mileage. First, ask how many kilometers are included in the daily rate. Many companies include 100km per day towards your trip, while some offer none and perhaps some offer more than 100. This is why you need to ask about mileage. It is easy to reduce the daily rate if kilometers are not included. Again, avoid shopping based on daily rate and ask questions!

Another cost you will want to know about is preparation and cleaning fees. If you do not see them listed on a quote, do not assume they do not exist. Ask if there are extra costs for cleaning, demonstrations, propane, parking and so on. A company should list these on every quote or price they provide but to protect yourself, ask if there is any extra costs for cleaning or preparation. You want the entire picture when it comes to your price. The company may be waiting to add those fees later or simply have them included in the daily rate, regardless you want to know for sure.

Lastly, once you know exactly what is included in the price, take time to read and understand the cancellation policy. This policy should be clearly listed on the company’s web site for everyone to read. When you ask for this information, there should be no hesitation on their behalf to provide it. It is standard that the closer you are to departure the higher the cost of cancellation. Each company has differing rules regarding cancellation and it is important to understand them. Our cancellation policy can be found on our Terms & Conditions page.

Tip 4: Know What Rules Apply To Your Motorhome Rental

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Congrats, you have found the right company, right motorhome, right options and right price, what could be left? Knowing the rules of the road is very important. Every company will have variants in their terms and conditions regarding their rental motorhomes. Common differences are prohibited areas of travel, certain events you may or may not attend, maintenance on the road, pets, smoking, pick up/drop off times and rules for dropping off the motorhome. You should feel confident that everything you plan to do is allowed through your rental contract. Take time to read the contract, ask questions and discuss your trip with your rental company. Give your rental company details about your trip; they may have insights that may help you stay within the rules of your rental and avoid issues with your experience.

Again, each company you speak with should be open and clear with their rules. You should be able to find the terms and conditions on their web site or request a copy before you rent. Failure to provide rules of rental should be a large red flag! The best thing you can do is discuss your plans with your chosen rental company to allow them to give input about anything that may be against the rules. After this, take time to read their terms and conditions to understand how they apply to your trip.

How do I Know a Motorhome Rental is Right for Me?

This is a two pronged question; enjoying your renting experience and enjoying your trip. If you take the advice of this blog post you should have your renting experience covered. You will hopefully be able to pick the right unit and company to ensure the details like price, rules, comfort and care are taken care of to your liking. The second aspect is your trip.

It is hard for anyone to answer that but yourself. But here are a few things to look forward to on a trip with a rental motorhome or RV.

  • Cooking your own meals
  • Spending time out-doors
  • Hiking and other physical activity
  • Disconnection from electronics and busy city living
  • Time spent closely with family and friends
  • Multiple trip destinations
  • Flexible trip planning
  • In many cases, cost savings
  • Long lasting memories
  • No more waking up on a deflated air mattress in a wet tent!

There are many advantages to traveling by motorhome and a rental is a great way to see if it is for you. Start your research today and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is our job to help you plan a great vacation, so give us a call (705) 722 – 0008, check out our site or drop in. Hopefully this article has helped you avoid issues with your motorhome rental experience and allows you to create memories that last a life time!

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